This week I've been focusing mainly on two things: 1) Designing a port for the STACIS that will allow external actuation and/or local feedback and 2) Investigating the seismic differential motion along the interferometer arms.
The circuit for the port is just a signal summing junction (in case we want to do feedforward and feedback at the same time) with BNC inputs for the external signal and switches that allow you to turn the external signal or feedback signal on/off. I'll test this on a breadboard and post the schematic if it works. I looked at the noise of the geophone pre-amp and DAC, which would be the feedback and external signal sources, respectively. According to Rolf Bork, the DAC noise is 700 nV/rtHz, and I measured the pre-amp board's minimum noise level at 20*10^-6 V/rtHz (which seems quite high). Both these noises are higher than the op-amp noise for my circuit (I'm considering the op-amp LT1012), which according to the specs is 30 nV/rtHz. This confirms that my circuit will not be the limiting noise source.
Along with Den, I calibrated the seismometers in the lab and measured the displacement differential arm motion (see eLog 7186: http://nodus.ligo.caltech.edu:8080/40m/7186). I'm trying to find a transfer function for the seismic stacks (and pendulum, but that's simpler) so I can calculate the differential motion in the chamber. After doing this offline, I'll make new channels in the PEM to look at the ground and chamber differential motion along the arms online.
I also am looking at the noise of the geophones with their shunt resistor (4k resistor across the coil) removed, to see if it improves the noise at low frequencies. My motivation for this was that the geophone specs show a better V/m/s sensitivity at low frequencies when the shunt resistor is removed, so the actual signal may become larger than the internal noise at these frequencies.